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ALM Applaud Farm Bill Draft, Stabenow's Leadership
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Agricultural Leaders of Michigan hailed the draft of the 2012 Farm Bill released today and praised Sen. Debbie Stabenow for her leadership in crafting the proposal, which protects programs essential to agriculture, family farms, rural development and jobs. ALM applauded Stabenow for working across the aisle and with the agriculture sector at every stage of the Farm Bill update.


Source: Agricultural Leades of Michigan

Agricultural Leaders of Michigan Applaud 2012 Farm Bill Draft, Stabenow’s Leadership


Agricultural Leaders of Michigan hailed the draft of the 2012 Farm Bill released today and praised Sen. Debbie Stabenow for her leadership in crafting the proposal, which protects programs essential to agriculture, family farms, rural development and jobs. ALM applauded Stabenow for working across the aisle and with the agriculture sector at every stage of the Farm Bill update.

“The 2012 Farm Bill draft unveiled today positions agriculture in Michigan and across the nation for growth, while taking into account the realities of today’s global economy and growing demand for safe, affordable and nutritious food,” said Dave Armstrong, CEO of GreenStone Farm Credit Services. “Sound risk management practices like crop insurance help ensure financial stability for Michigan farmers, especially when weather brings drought, floods, hail and other natural calamities. Sen. Debbie Stabenow truly worked with stakeholders across the agriculture sector and the result is a Farm Bill that can lead to more growth and opportunities for America’s agriculture industry.”

For more than a year, ALM worked closely with Stabenow on key issues affecting Michigan’s agriculture economy, including:

  • Strengthening crop insurance and expanding access so farmers are not wiped out by a few days of bad weather.
  • Consolidating two remaining farm programs into one, and will give farmers the ability to tailor risk management coverage – meaning better protection against real risks beyond a farmer’s control.
  • Eliminating direct payments, meaning farmers will no longer be paid for crops they are not growing, will not be paid for acres that are not actually planted, and will not receive support absent a drop in price or yields.
  • Growing bio-based manufacturing.
  • Spurring advancements in bio-energy production, supporting advanced biomass energy production such as cellulosic ethanol and pellets from woody biomass for power.
  • Extending rural development initiatives to help rural communities upgrade infrastructure and encourage small businesses to grow.

The draft Farm Bill also eliminates duplicative programs, allowing funds to go to areas in which they will have the greatest impact and work better for producers. For example, the bill consolidates 23 existing conservation programs into 13 programs, while maintaining the existing tools farmers and landowners need to protect and conserve land, water and wildlife.

“Sen. Stabenow has fought consistently for reforms that will help Michigan farmers increase production and deal with increasing demand, and this draft Farm Bill deserves Congress’ fullest support,” said Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. “Sen. Debbie Stabenow deserves credit for her support of major efforts to modernize and streamline farm policy that will ensure Michigan and U.S. agriculture can continue to grow and feed the world. Michigan agri-businesses view this draft Farm Bill as a blueprint for how U.S. and Michigan agriculture can continue to compete in today’s economy.”

“Michigan dairy producers applaud Sen. Debbie Stabenow for addressing much needed reforms that can modernize dairy policy, and we urge her to continue standing up for those reforms as the Farm Bill moves forward,” said Ken Nobis, president of the Michigan Milk Producers Association. “Dairy is Michigan’s top agricultural commodity, and U.S. dairy exports have more than doubled in the last seven years. We look forward to a dairy policy that is based on today’s market realities and which allows us to continue to grow and meet increasing demands.”

ALM has also voiced strong support for programs that can further support Michigan’s diverse agriculture sector, including:

  • Returning quality, non-sensitive farmland from the Conservation Reserve Program to production without penalty.
  • Foundation for the Future, a comprehensive package of changes to dairy policy that will revamp and improve the farm-level safety net for U.S. dairy producers by focusing on margin protection, not price.
  • Continuing the specialty crop research initiative and block grants, two important programs authorized for the first time in the 2008 Farm Bill.
  • The energy title in the 2005 Farm Bill, which encourages renewable energy on farms in Michigan as a way to provide farmers with additional opportunities for income and helps reduce our dependence on imported oil.

CONTACTS:

  • Dave Armstrong, President and CEO of GreenStone Farm Credit Services:
    (517) 318-2290
  • Jim Byrum, President of the Michigan Agri-Business Association:
    (517) 336-0223
  • Ken Nobis, President of the Michigan Milk Producers Association:
    (248) 474-6672